Council OKs New Neighbor For Empire State Bldg

Bloomberg: No Apologies For Changing NYC's Skyline

NEW YORK (CBS 2/1010 WINS/WCBS 880/AP) — The Empire State Building’s owner has lost his bid to stop a new skyscraper from rising in the neighborhood.

On Wednesday the New York City Council approved zoning and land use changes that will pave the way for a new 67-story tower at 15 Penn Plaza two blocks west of the 102-story Empire State landmark.

Anthony malkin, the Empire State Building’s owner, had tried to convince lawmakers to reject the project.  Malkin said the proposed 1,190-foot glass office tower will ruin the view and forever alter the city’s skyline.

“This is an issue of a size 22 foot in a size 12 shoe. It’s just bloody big,” Malkin said.

However, CBS 2’s Sean Hennessey reports Mayor Michael Bloomberg scoffed at the notion that the Empire State Building shouldn’t face a new competitor in New York City’s skyline.

“One guy owns a building, he’d like it to be the only tall building.  I’m sorry that’s not the real world, nor should it be,” Bloomberg said.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn also echoed Bloomberg’s sentiments and stressed that, in the case of a new skyscraper, change is good.

“We want there to be new Rockefeller Centers and new Chrysler Buildings. We want there to be buildings that challenge the rest of the skyline in its greatness,” Quinn said.

However, some on the Council, including Charles Barron of Brooklyn, voted against the plan, saying that minorities would not be able to afford to rent anything inside the forthcoming complex.

“This is a building that is built for white elites in a city that is now overwhelmingly black and Latino people,”  Barron told Hennessey.

But Vornado Realty Trust — the company behind the newly approved project — said they planned to ensure inclusiveness as the endeavor moved forward, and released the following statement Wednesday:

“We wish to acknowledge the efforts of the City Council, the City Planning Commission, the Borough President and all those connected with the approval of our project, which we believe will be an outstanding addition to New York’s iconic skyline.  We look forward to working with the Council to implement strong minority and women participation in the development and construction of 15 Penn Plaza.”

The project is expected to create 7,000 new jobs and developers will spend about $150 million to improve transportation in the area around Penn Station, 1010 WINS senior correspondent Stan Brooks reports.

The development is still in the planning stages. No date for construction has been set.

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  • br

    The least the owner of this building can do is redesign this clumsy, hideous mound which looks even more atrocious next to the elegant and graceful Empire State Bldg.!

  • Tremley

    After reading barron’s comments again, ^^ above^^ He says “Minorities would not be able to afford to rent,,,,” Then he says “… city that is now overwelmingly black and latino people”
    So if the city is overwellmingly black & lantino, who can they be minorities? Vote this racist bum out!

  • Tremley

    Charles Barron of Brooklyn voted against the plan saying that minorities would not be able to afford to rent anything inside the forthcoming complex.
    “This is a building that is built for white elites in a city that is now overwhelmingly black and Latino people,”

    What does councilman barron want built there? Housing projects for blacks and latinos? Vote this POS,Racist councilman out!

  • skaizun

    As if the city is going to turn down tax revenue and jobs!

    At the very least, they should require that at least 75% of the blue collar workers have lived in the tri-state area for at least one year (lease, driver’s license, bank statements, utility bills, etc, could be used to prove it); that should reduce the number of cheap (and, potentially, inexperienced) workers brought in from overseas (not to mention reducing illegal aliens).

  • Lynne

    I’m more offended by this new skyscraper than by the mosque. We have freedom of religion in this country and the only thing that annoys me about the mosque is that they won’t be paying taxes on it. The new skyscraper will double volume of people, traffic and the need for security in the area — as well as change the skyline (like World Trade did in the 60s).

  • Deibon Monet

    I think Mayor Mike is desperately out of touch with New Yorker’s and it was a huge mistake to elect him to a third term. First support for the sacrilegious ground zero mosque and now this – how else is he going to try and ruin New York City before he’s gone for good?

  • Bastich

    Build it!!! What kind of a rotten excuse is the owner of ESB throwing? It would “ruin” the view? This is a huge project which will considerably add to the office space in Manhattan!! Its imperitive the City grants more such tall skyscrapers – its only in going vertical that the city will remain compact and add to more space its ever growing population demands!!

    Build the Tower !

  • The Truth

    When has corporate Whore Mike ever turned down any Big Business corporatized project or investment that might destroy quality of life issues in NYC or further increase the difficulty for an average person to afford to live in NYC. This project doesn’t seem to bad, but Mike’s history over the past decade of promoting the expansion of Global Investment Bank’s and government subsidization that is based upon the number of employees they have obviously highly increased the huge speculative bubble that we as a city haven’t recovered from. When you did deeper, you find the revenue model for Bloomberg Terminals, is a per user fee, so the more Terminals in a Global bank, the more revenue for Bloomberg. Wow, what a conveyance for Mike’s Pocket, as he’s still the controlling shareholder for Bloomberg. Mayor Mike, great job creating tax policy for the city to increase job’s over the past year based on hiring focused at Global Banks. Too bad only Global banks got those tax incentives, In Mayor Mike’s eyes, I guess an average Mom and pop store in NYC, wouldn’t buy a Bloomberg Terminal, so why offer them the same tax benefits for hiring as a Global Bank. Mayor Mike, stop excessively promoting multinational corporations at the expense of small businesses, culture and the arts. You have sterilzed the my city that i grew up in. Go back to Boston where you were born, I want to afford to live in the city I grew up in!!!!!!!!!!

  • BOB

    Could this be yet another building contract for Mayor BlOOMBERG.

    Can anyone find out how many contracts have been approved for the companies that the Mayor owns, since he has been in office, and how many more will be approved in the period of his EXTRA TERM

    • mike

      Mayor Bloomberg does not own any contracting or real estate development companies, he has absolutely no personal financial interest in this building. Private companies have the right to build in NY and the private owners of the Empire State Building do not have a monopoly on views or skyscrapers in mid-town. New buildings like this one create thousands of high wage construction jobs and attract companies which offer high paying jobs and tax revenue which New York City desperately needs. If they don’t build here the money, tax revenue, and jobs WILL go elsewhere, probably to NJ. Is that what we want?

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